Christmas Gift Guide 2013

Quirky and Interesting Christmas Gift Ideas for 2013

Giving gifts is the best and worst thing about Christmas. Grab the first thing that catches your eye and you will probably end up giving someone a gift which he or she will also receive from at least two other persons. Spend too much time looking for that perfect gift and it’s just not as fun.  Our advice: Give it some thought (but not too much) and since it’s the season where a lot of gifts are exchanged, aim for something unique and personal.

Here’s our list of 2013 Christmas Gift Ideas:

Donate to Charity.  Make Christmas more meaningful for you and the people you care about by donating your gift budget to charity.  Donate well before Christmas and then send a simple note to everyone that you have made a donation in his or her name and encourage each recipient to do the same.

Pick charitable institutions that have built a reputation of trustworthiness and with concrete long-term plans for giving aid.

World Food Programme

Donate to the World Food Programme for victims of Typhoon Yolanda.

Go Indie. I have around four to five friends who sell baked goods and other custom made gift packages every Christmas.  Apart from the fact that majority of independent sellers are considerably cheaper than established shops, gifts sourced from these sellers are unique (you can’t get them at any other time of the year).   Plus, it’s a great way to help out friends (and relatives) who are looking for ways to augment their incomes.

Our recommendations:

1. Holiday Cookies

If you don’t already have a supplier of baked goodies, try Pam Solis-Ty’s Holiday Cookies. Pam’s cookies come in two flavors: oatmeal and chocolate, and chocolate and cashew. Both variants are wonderfully soft and chewy (like old-fashioned Mrs. Field’s cookies), and chock-full of the good stuff.  My personal favorite is the chocolate and cashew.

Holiday Cookies by Pam Solis-Ty

Holiday Cookies by Pam Solis-Ty.

Oatmeal cookies sell for PhP 180 for a box of 12 and PhP 225 for a bowl of 10.  You can get a box of 12 chocolate and cashew cookies for PhP 160 and a bowl of 10 for PhP200.

You may contact Pam via SMS through +63915 790 4466 to place your orders and arrange for pick-up or delivery.  Pam is based in Quezon City.

2. Kapeng Barako, Inabel Blankets and Tablea

For this year, the people behind Christmas Warmth have thought of the perfect gift package for the Christmas season – kapeng barako (to get you through simbang gabi), native inabel blankets (for those chilly December nights) and tsokolate tablea (possibly for Noche Buena).

Christmas Warmth strikes deep into the Filipino nationalist’s heart as all its products are sourced locally.  Their kapeng barako comes from Batangas while the tablea and inabel blankets are from Ilocos.  If you are looking for a truly Filipino Christmas gift, Christmas Warmth’s products may turn out to be perfect for you.

Christmas Warmth Package

Christmas Warmth Package.

You may contact Christmas Warmth via email at christmaswarmth@yahoo.com or via SMS through +63 947 999 9913 for their full brochure, product packages and orders.   Inabel blankets take around two weeks to weave so it’s best to order early.  Christmas Warmth delivers in Quezon City, Mandaluyong, Pasig and Makati.

Give Quality Time. The gift of time is priceless. Carve out quality time for you and your special someone by grabbing tickets to a play, concert or musical that you both enjoy. Buy tickets for shows that run in early 2014 to allow the recipient ample time to move previous commitments around.

Our recommendations:

1. Wicked, the Musical

Wicked, The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz is an award-winning musical based on the novel by Gregory Maguire and features the music of Stephen Schwarts.  It will open at the CCP Main Theater on January 22, 2014 and will run until February 23, 2014.  (Tickets available through www.ticketworld.com.ph.)

Wicked the Musical.

Wicked the Musical.

2. Rak of Aegis

Liza Magtoto and Maribel Legarda (the team the brought us Care Divas) team up once again to bring us this rock musical featuring the music of Aegis. Set in a subdivision that has been flooded for two months – this is a story about resilience and, of course, love.  The Philippine Educational Theater Association will stage Rak of Aegis at the PETA Theater Center from January 31 to March 9, 2014. (Tickets available through www.ticketworld.com.ph.)

Rak of Ages

Rak of Aegis.

Channel cutielitarianI just made up that word (seems to be the in thing these days). Make everyday items “gift-worthy” by opting for stores or sellers that offer cute little twists on everyday items.

Our recommendations:

1. Handcrafted Leather Goods

Leather accessories need not be expensive.  Hit the nearest Christmas bazaar or scour the internet for small independent brands that produce only a few of each item. The result: inexpensive limited edition gifts. We’re especially fond of Aklat Eklat for handcrafted leather travel tags, utility rolls and book jackets.

Handcrafted leather goods by Aklat Eklat

Handcrafted leather goods by Aklat Eklat.

You can reach Aklat Eklat through email at palabrasletras@yahoo.com or through cellphone number 0918-919-3913.

2. Children’s Clothes and Accessories.

Celestina & Co. has always been our favorite brand for everything cute that pretty little girls can wear.  They offer a wide array of bows, bands, skirts and apron dresses that will make great gifts for your nieces and godchildren. They’ve also recently launched Li’l Rocketman – its accessories line for little boys. Li’l Rocketman offers several styles of caps and bow ties perfect for your cute little nephew.

Celestina & Co. and Li'l Rocketman

Celestina & Co. and Li’l Rocketman.

Shop online for Celestina & Co. and Li’l Rocketman products at www.celestinaandco.com.  You can also catch them on November 30 and December 1 from 10 am to 7 pm at Pop Up Kids at the Upstairs Showroom of Three Salcedo Place, Salcedo Village, Makati City.

3. Gadget Extensions

Since you can’t buy everyone a gadget for Christmas, go for the next best thing: accessories and other gadget extensions.  Skip Greenhills this year and look out for quirkier gadget extensions available from specialty stores.  Nifty accessories like the power curl (which is basically a cord holder for macs) are available at www.qrius.ph.  You can also visit their kiosk at the Power Plant mall.

Power Curl

Get the power curl at Qrius.

Featured photo taken here.